Tournament director Chase McLain credits last year’s inaugural event as a success and expects to continue that trend as ticket sales have already surpassed last year’s total.
“We had better crowds on Thursday and Friday last year than we anticipated, then Saturday and Sunday were huge with the biggest crowd on Sunday,” McClain said. “We also had 500 volunteers last year but feel we will host an even-better week-long event this year so we’re shooting for 700 volunteers.”
One of the highlights of the week will be a concert held on Tuesday, August 30, at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino starring Jerrod Niemann and Steel Magnolia.
“We’re excited that Jerrod Niemann and Steel Magnolia will be part of the Mylan Classic,” said Southpointe Golf Club President Rodney Piatt. “They are award-winning musicians and even better people.”
McClain credited The Meadows for hosting the concert and also being a strong community partner in general.
“It takes an entire community to put this event together. Having The Meadows nearby has been a blessing, “McClain said. “The economic development they have brought to the area has been fabulous and partnering with them has been a win-win situation.”
The concert will be held at the same venue as other concerts at The Meadows, which is on the race track in front of the grandstands. Meadows assistant general manager Phil Barnett feels the Mylan Classic has the opportunity to be an annual entertainment staple in the region.
“The Mylan Classic is a first-class organization and we’re looking forward to working with them again this year,” Barnett said. “It was a great event last year and we think it has the ability to be a yearly standard in our community.”
Tournament week starts Monday, August 29, with a celebrity pro-am featuring teams made up of a tour pro and local well-known sports figures such as former Pirates pitcher and current announcer Steve Blass, ex-Steelers Robin Cole and L.C. Greenwood, Pirates president Frank Coonely and former Penguins Bob Errey, Pierre Larouche and Eddie Johnston. There is also a PGA Tour youth clinic on Tuesday and another pro-am on Wednesday.
The tournament gets officially underway on Thursday. A full field of 156 golfers are registered and are made up of 145 Nationwide Tour or PGA Tour card-holding members, four tri-state area PGA qualifiers, including Oakmont pro Bob Ford, and four exemptions.
Local golf pro Rocco Mediate is expected to attend and also conduct a clinic, as long as he is not playing at a PGA event. Other golfers expected are local favorite Steve Wheatcroft, previous 84 Lumber Classic winner Jason Gore, and Brendan Cobb of Peters Township.
Other highlights of tournament-week include on-site concerts by Clarks lead singer Scott Blasey on Thursday, Joe Greshecky on Friday and the Spinners on Saturday.
Tourney ticket-holders gain free admission to the on-site concerts and various golf clinics throughout the week for a mere $25. Kids 12-and-under are free all week with a paying adult. Military Appreciation Day is Friday; all military personnel are granted free admission. Saturday—“Pink on the Links” Day—is Breast Awareness day, with all ticket proceeds going back into the charity pool.
Last year’s tournament raised over $300,000 for charity. This year’s tournament is expected to break that record.
“There are a lot of different ways to gauge success. We think the most-important aspect is the donation to charity,” McClain said. ”You could probably add up all the charitable donations made by the other professional sports combined and they wouldn’t surpass how much is given to charity by the professional golf tours.”